Shelter Dogs in Cages in Tulare


Taking Action.

Taking Action to Improve Animal Protection

Advocacy is a fundamental way the SF SPCA can transform animal protection and animal sheltering statewide. Working to improve state laws through legislation helps increase society’s awareness of animal care needs and helps to strengthen standards and treatment. Our organization brings our significant expertise to the table when public policy discussions occur, and decisions are made.

Read more about our 2024 SF SPCA Advocacy Strategy.

Featured Legislation & Programs

AB 2216 would limit landlords’ ability to charge monthly pet rent, prevent tenants from owning pets without reasonable justifications for their policy, and other practices that prevent tenants from owning pets and/or that result in tenants relinquishing their pets to shelters.  

SB 1233 requests that the University of California and Western University of Health Sciences establish standards and certification for High-Quality, High-Volume Spay and Neuter Surgical Techniques and begin to offer these techniques in their veterinary medicine curriculum. 

AB 1983 would re-establish the Prevention of Animal Homelessness and Cruelty Voluntary Tax Contribution Fund to support municipal animal control agencies in spay and neuter efforts, This bill would re-initiate the program allowing an individual to designate a contribution to the Fund on their tax return, allowing compassionate Californians to continue to contribute and help solve the pet overpopulation crisis 

AB 1988 would align state statutes by clarifying that kittens and puppies surrendered by their owners can be made immediately available to nonprofit rescue and adoption groups. This bill will help ensure that limited shelter space is available when needed and that surrendered puppies and kittens can find a home swiftly. 

AB 2248 would limit some predatory practices that commercial pet sellers use to make their sales, including the use of non-refundable deposits before important information is disclosed. AB 2248 would void contracts between California consumers and online brokers of dogs and cats that require a nonrefundable deposit and fail to disclose the original source of a dog or cat prior to a deposit being issued. The bill also requires sellers to return money to the buyers within 30 days if the contract is voided. 

Shelter Policy and Legal Services (PALS) champions policy change and provides free legal advice and assistance to other shelters in California to improve animal outcomes. Learn more here.

Visit this page often, as it is updated regularly to provide status updates, along with instructions on how you can provide support. 

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Advocacy Impact

Meet the Team

Bruce Wagman​ Lead Counsel

Bruce Wagman, a lawyer with the San Francisco office of Riley Safer Holmes & Cancila LLP, has dedicated more than three decades to advocating for animals in various sectors of society. As the sole attorney running an exclusive animal law practice in a major U.S. firm, he litigates cases, drafts animal-friendly legislation, oversees rescues and sanctuaries, and provides consulting services. His expertise is recognized globally through his publications, casework, and involvement with a wide variety of animal law issues, including a focus on “shelter law” and companion animal issues, as well as animals in entertainment and biomedical research, animal cruelty, and farm animal and wildlife protection. He is also the founder of Project Chimps, a Georgia sanctuary for chimpanzees retired from biomedical research. Known for his passion and successful arguments, Bruce represents animal-protection organizations and individuals, offering unwavering dedication to his clients and the animals involved.